Closing the sale has always been what we have been told to do - the "ABC of selling" and "lots of little Yes lead to a big Yes" were designed to do just that. These tactics can work for low-end consumer sales, very small business sales and industries where you do not rely on repeat business or referrals. But, even those results are short-lived.

For most of us these clichés are outdated and simply no longer viable as sales techniques. Business customers are now too sophisticated and have become professional buyers and high-end consumers can (and do) research on the internet before purchasing. Using ABC and YES shows a lack of skill, a lack of respect and, in my opinion, a lack of integrity.

Think about what these techniques call for - tricking or manipulating the potential customer to say yes, even if they do not want to. What exactly does that accomplish?

Amazingly, many customers have been trained by their experiences with unskilled sales people to not only expect these tactics but to play along with them. This mutual dishonesty can waste hours of valuable selling time and cause customers to switch off when meeting a new sales person for the first time.

Take a step back and think for a minute - what exactly are you trying to accomplish during an appointment? Do you want a phony yes or an honest no? Personally, I prefer a honest no so I know whether I am wasting time or generating commission.

So, if your goal is to generate commission why would you try and get someone to say yes to everything and then "close" them on the fake yes' you have tricked them into giving you? Not every appointment will lead to a sale because not every customer is a good fit for your product or service.

Start viewing the first appointment, unless pre-qualified, as your chance to see whether the customer is a good fit for you and not the other way around. Taking this view leads you to qualify the customer's appropriateness for you.

Test the customer's level of integrity by giving them a chance to say NO. Start the meeting by explaining you understand and respect the fact they are very busy. That you intend to ask them a lot of questions to see whether your product/service is a good fit and if it is not you will let them know to avoid wasting their time.

The integrity you show by asking them real questions, by genuinely trying to qualify their need, or ability to buy, will eventually be reciprocated.

If you know your products well enough you should already know why customers say yes. Invest more time in finding out why they would say no - the results may surprise you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, I hope it was helpful.

Always Be Qualifying.

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